Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Did my dog just have a heart attack?

I was watching TV with Peanut, my 10-year-old shepherd mix, laying on the floor at my feet.  She jumped up suddenly and seemed agitated, turning a couple circles like she was going to throw up.  She sat down as I reached for her to comfort her and kind of hunched over.  Which is a normal puking position. 

She stood up abruptly, her legs buckled and straightened one at a time, making her totter and struggle to get her footing.  Then she collapsed to the floor. 

I wanted to freak out but tried to stay calm.  I laid down on the floor, shooed Angel away, and held Peanut until her breathing slowed down.  I looked into her eyes trying to decide if her pupils should be that large.  Were the pupils blown?  Had she suffered a brain trauma?  Then she sighed and  laid her head on my arm.  I laid on the floor for about 20 minutes just petting her. 

Angel lay near us on the floor, but not touching either of us. Which is very unusual.  Angel likes to be in contact with the members of her pack.

I was quite relieved then Peanut moved first one front leg, then the other to lay across my arm next to her nose.  I was terrified to find out if she could stand on her own or not. 

After a bit, the floor got too hard.  I stood and picked her up, giving her no opportunity to stand.  I put her on the couch. positioned her across my lap, and petted her more.  

Angel came up gently onto the couch and laid next to her, not bumping, pushing, or laying on Peanut.

After about 20 minutes, it was time to go upstairs to bed.  I was quite relieved when Peanut jumped down off the couch on her own and was steady on her legs.

Still, I am concerned.  She has an enlarged heart and arrhythmia.  Did she have a heart attack?  A stroke?  Is this a harbinger  of the end of my beloved princess? 

We already had a cardiology appointment scheduled for today.  I hope he has some answers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Storm damage

I was just starting to watch Torchwood Saturday night at about 5:45, when the dogs started to freak.  I kept hearing something ting against the window.  So I stepped outside and it was hailing!  And hitting the windows under an 8 foot patio cover.  Very strange. 

I went back inside and sat on the couch between the dogs to comfort then and watched the hail.  I saw the wind pick up and the patio furniture start to slide across the concrete.  One chair tipped over and slid several feet.  The glass patio table stayed upright, thankfully. And nothing came through the picture window.

The wind started blowing right through the doggy door, the magnet clattering as the flap swayed back and forth, twigs and leaves scattering across the tile floor.  Then the acacia came crashing down from south to north.  It missed the patio cover, but lay across the grass, which I was glad I had just cut.  No idea why that mattered, but it seemed like it would be a while before I would have the chance again.

The worst is over I thought.  But the wind picked up ferociously.  I heard loud noises, but nothing definable.  Then suddenly, the wind was gone. 

I went outside and checked out the tree.  Completely laid over, but the roots aren’t exposed.  I have no idea whether it can be stood back up, and whether it would survive. 

I walked to the west side of the house and saw the double gate was wide open.  Fortunately, the hasp was fine, the unlatched lock had given way.  There were pieces of roof tile laying on the ground.  I walked out front and saw more tile in the yard and on the driveway.  I looked up at the roof from the driveway and it seemed fine. 

I returned to the back yard and noticed a section of asphalt roofing from the patio cover laying in the garden.  It was crushing my flowers, so tossed it onto the rocks and looked up to see where it had come from. 

The roof.  The tile roof.  It was a shambles.  Tile was tipped up on end instead of laying flat. 

I hurried inside to call the insurance company and file a claim.  The adjuster would call me in one or two business days.  What was I to do until then?  Was the roof leaking?  Well no, it’s not raining.  I hung up with a number to call if I needed more information.

I went back outside.  Terri hollered at me from over the fence.  They had lost 2 large evergreens and some tile and wondered if I was okay.  They have flat tile and although some was disturbed, their roof was in much better condition than mine. Although part of one tree is now laying in their pool.

My tile is the humped kind.  The wind got right under it and lifted it off the roof.  I looked more closely and could see some of the flashing sticking up and some of the wood lathing where the tile is attached.  The western corner piece dangled precariously.  Ron, who does construction, advised me to get someone out to tarp the roof before it rained.

So I called the insurance company back and got the numbers of a couple places that do emergency work. I called at 6:40.  They got here at 8.  It started raining at 7:15.  I haven’t had any appreciable rain since April.  The day I lose my roof it rains.

The guys spent 2 hours tarping the roof.  The first 20 minutes it was pouring down rain.  I stood outside and watched.  The next hour the wind was blowing in intermittent gusts, grabbing  the tarp and flapping it.  At one point the step ladder on the patio cover roof fell over while they were both on the main roof.  I climbed up, righted it and held it for quite a while as it shuddered in the wind.

Later, the wind seemed to have died down and I was concerned about the dogs, so I climbed back down to check on them.  I hadn’t yet climbed back up when a gust of wind toppled the stepladder off the roof onto the ground.

While they were working, although it was dark, I noticed the chinaberry tree looked odd.  I went over to examine it, got a flash light and reexamined it.  Major branches had split. After splitting, one fell onto another branch and broke it.  It is horrible mangled.

That disturbed me more than anything so far.  I am sicker about the trees than I am about the house.  A house can be repaired.  Trees die.

As I was standing outside listening to the guys working on the roof, I looked up and saw the beautiful full moon and listened to the frogs croak in a nearby pond.  It was peaceful and soothing and I am grateful that the damage was as limited as it was.

Dish towel hierarchy

Is it weird that I  have a dish towel hierarchy?

There are four stages, progressing from cleanest to dirtiest.  The progression occurs when one of the dirtier towels needs to be replaced.

A clean one goes from the drawer to hang on a rack next to the kitchen window.  This gets used for wiping clean dishes or gets laid on the counter under wet dishes so they can air dry.

The next stage is hand towel.  I use the hand towels to dry my hands and wipe water off the kitchen counter. These towels are hung on a rack in front of the sink.

Progression to washer towel comes by many methods.  Sometimes, my hands or counter aren't just wet, but are damp from spilled tea, strawberry juice, or the like.  Other times, I grab the first towel handy to wipe a sweaty brow.  In these cases, the towel is moved to the top of  the washer.. 

A laundry towel is one that goes directly into the washer for the next laundry day.  A washer towel becomes a laundry towel if I use it to wipe off algae splashed from bird bath water or wet grass that is sticking to my legs, to wipe water off the floor, or to dry off a wet dog,.

Weird?  Maybe.  Useful?  Definitely. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where do I find the time to blog?

Somehow I can't manage to find the time to blog.  I managed to miss the entire month of August.  Not only has the record-breaking heat induced a lethargy, I also feel like my days are speeding past me.

I rejoined a gym in February, and as I get more fit, I keep adding more exercise classes. I do 4 to 6 one hour classes each week.  Plus I just started seeing a "Corrective Trainer" to try to resolve my shoulder and knee issues.  This has resulted in homework in the guise of stretching exercises and, soon to be added, corrective exercises.

If I add together the 8 1/2 hours of time I spend at the office, the one hour round-trip commute, one exercise class, twenty minutes to get to exercise class and back, seven hours of sleep, plus dressing, eating, brushing teeth, giving pills and love to two dogs, etc.  Add to that the time I spend keeping a journal, because my memory is like a sieve, and I am not surprised that available time keeps slipping away from me.

Add to that the time I spend keeping a journal, because my memory is like a sieve.  

When I get home from work, my eyes are so tired from staring at a computer all day, that I can barely read.  So I spend my evenings, post-exercise, cuddled up on the couch with my dogs watching television.  Which they like. 

Of course, on the weekends, I don't have the work time commitment, but I do have a lawn to mow, house to sort of clean, minor household repairs.

And lately, I've been more inclined to curl up with a mystery or science fiction novel. 

It's not you, it's me.